READINGS for 2007-12-12
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
HASSLED WITH THE SEASON?
But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. – Luke 1:29
I didn’t look forward to my birthday because I reached that age when an added year meant “old” or “aging.” So when a friend of mine greeted me and her five-year-old son overheard that I didn’t even feel like celebrating my birthday, he was puzzled.
“Why doesn’t Tita Rissa want to celebrate her birthday, Mom?” the boy asked.
Why indeed? For kids, a birthday, especially yours, was always exciting. The gifts, the balloons, the cake and ice cream and all the attention oh, if it could only be a child’s birthday everyday!
That’s how you know you’re old — when you don’t look forward to your birthdays anymore. It’s ingratitude on our part not to want to celebrate on our special day. You overlook the blessings you’ve received through the year. You neglect expressing gratitude for being alive, while many others passed away that year.
It’s the same with Christmas. Some of us grumble about the season because of the traffic, the expenses and the hassle it brings. But we fail to see the season for what it really is — a time to be thankful to the Father for the most important birthday of all. Rissa S.
Take time to ponder on the meaning of Christmas. Don’t let the hassle of the season steal it away.
Jesus, I want to celebrate You.
Isaiah 40:25-31 (Or Feast Reading Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10)
The Lord is promising the People of Israel that even though they grow tired and weary all the time, He does not. He never tires to do good for them and to aid them in their struggles and battles. This is good news for us as we also can be sure that He will be there for us when we need Him. It is merely a matter of humbling ourselves to ask His help and then believing that He will do what is necessary for the situation.
27  To whom can you liken me as an equal? Says the Holy One. 28  Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these. He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! 29  Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 30  Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. 31  He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. 32  Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, 33  they that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
P S A L M
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10 (Or Judith 13:18-19)
R: O bless the Lord, my soul!
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 3 He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. 4 He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R) 8 Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R)
G O S P E L
Matthew 11:28-30 (Or Luke 1:26-38 or Luke 1:39-47)
The promise of God is that he will shoulder our burdens if we come to Him in humility. The greatest burden we carry is that of our sin. In fact it is a burden that is impossible for us to endure as we cannot reconcile ourselves to God. Jesus has already offered to take this burden from us on the cross. Have we given it over to Him or do we still insist on trying to do things our way? The only way to freedom is by following the path God has provided to deal with sin.
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
think: The greatest burden we carry is that of our sin.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Colossians 1-4
TRUE FAITH IS PERSONAL, BUT NOT INDIVIDUALISTIC
Our Gospel lesson ends with a verse that alludes to the importance of having Faith, even if this Faith is the size of a mustard seed. We note here the “love to the fullest” that God has for us. He accommodates our littleness! He meets us in our littleness! He acts despite our little faith.
As we meditate deeper on the words of the Gospel, we learn that Living Faith, though, is not a matter of simply having an individualized relationship with God. It cannot but reach out to embrace others…
LIVING FAITH EDIFIES . The true disciple must be one who does not only build up himself and his relationship with God. He must also build up the faith of others. If not, Jesus teaches that it is far better for a man who is the source of the scandal of faith of others to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea!
LIVING FAITH EVANGELIZES . The true believer is not simply content about being holy by avoiding sin and occasions of sin. Jesus says: If the believer encounters a brother who did wrong, it is his duty to correct the mistake… it is his duty to proclaim the truth… with a gentle and reconciling spirit.
LIVING FAITH EXALTS GOD . The true believer witnesses to the power of God… that with God there is nothing impossible. He proclaims this by the way he calmly and confidently faces life’s demands and challenges. Fr. Domie, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTION: In what ways do you practice a faith that “edifies”? In what ways do you practice a faith that “evangelizes”? At work, in school, at home or among friends, in what ways do you “exalt” God?
May I truly live a life of living faith.
St. Ymar, martyr and monk, pray for us.
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